Monday, 17 February 2014

Book Review: Bright Young Things

Bright Young Things
By Scarlet Thomas

Well, what can i say! This was one of the strangest books I have read this year. I could really relate with the blurb about being young, educated and in a dead-end worthless position. I was expecting big things from this book. The opening scenes did a great job at grabbing my attention. Six short introductions to each of the characters. After that however, the book bored me. Being kidnapped to a deserted island to live sustainability still, had potential though. But a whole 140 pages (40% of the book), was then given to chatting crap about random stuff such as console games and music from the 80-'s to 1999. Although i knew some of what they were on about, most of it went over my head. I also thought this book was just an excuse to talk crudely and had a weak plot. The scenes tended to jump from a revelation, back to chatting crap. No focus was spent on any of these 'big secret revelations'. It was like chatting crap, BAM rape story, chatting crap, BAM gay sex story, chatting crap, BAM sexual abuse story, back to chatting crap. And all over a game of truth or dare. 

There was a strong sexual tension theme from the offset. All characters seemed to 'pair-up' within the day and without much disagreement of partner. How fitting. The language used in the book i did not think was necessary. It was vulgar and crude at times and brought the book down i thought. Several dialogues discussed topics such as pubic hair, anal sex and genitals in a casual and conversational manner. I'm no prude when it comes to topics like this, but with so little else in the book, it took a leading role. Could the author seriously not think of anything else to discuss. Or did she put this in for the shock/edge factor?

To include such brash and open dialogues, alongside the size of Paul's ginormous sausage, and then skip the only sex scene, where is the consistency! If you're going to be so audacious and relay such high sexual tensions, at least follow it through and give us a juicy sex scene to read. 

The book basically took place over a two-day period. The whole survival aspects were not touched on, nor was the  such as the contents of the stores and cupboards etc. (which interested me) nor did the characters ever seem to acknowledge or realise they were captives for the long-haul. Not once was it discussed. Again another aspect merely brushed past.

The twist in the story was interesting and i must say i enjoyed this part the most. It was pretty much the only action scene in the book.

I did not enjoy the way the book ended. Not only did it end at a strange point that was totally inconclusive, but it also creaped me out. [Spoiler alert] tying a dead body to a boat and sending him out to sea on a boat with a mask over his face, a syringe through his head and a dildo in his mouth? I mean seriously?!!! The revelation of their 'purpose' put the sick twist on the book. You are left to image how things were supposed to happen. This creaped me out. 

The book set up the relationships between the characters to leave with enough to guess where things went afterwards, but to me, this was a story only half told. And not very well at that. 

This book is dated. Those that are up in the 1980's on-wards would get the most enjoyment from it. I wasn't born for another 9 years. 

The title and blurb does not prepare you for the garbage content in this book. Its crude, poorly-plotted and seems like an excuse just to publish another book. Despite it being stupidly easy to read, i did not really enjoy it, nothing really happened, the plot was weak and the story just didn't so it for me. After finishing this book (alone in the house), i stayed up because i was so weireded out by it. I almost went to sleep with the fairy lights on. Its not scary, just twisted. I'm sad to say i will not be recommending this book. 


"If life wasn't going to be like a Hollywood film, there was only one option: fuck life and rent the film instead."

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